1. Do You Hate Your Job?
I must tell you I’ve never really hated a job I worked at but I despised a boss or two, not that I have had that many. To be stuck in a job that is taking a person nowhere, that is full of endless aggravation from a micro-manager or having a boss who is an idiot must drive people to drink. I can’t imagine working under a boss like that until retirement but many do.
2.How are You with Time Management?
I have a client who determined at the outset of beginning her home-based business that she would not accept calls from friends or family during her business day, she would not watch television or do housework to avoid ruining her business. She had a set work day, a home office complete with dedicated phone line and a lockable door. She had the perfect setup to avoid interruptions. Most of us have problems defining our time for work. I’ve had retired friends call me for a lunch at the pub, or a client suggest a golf day because he wants to get out of the office. It’s tough to be dedicated to time management.
3.Do You Need Capital & Where Will You Get It?
We forget about a startup budget, inventory to match demand, whiteboards, office supplies when deciding to begin our businesses. Open the doors and they will come â€“ marketing costs money. What resources do you actually have available in credit lines versus loans, can you borrow from family and friends? Know your limits and your available resources.
Create a business plan, at least with that in place you may have planned for unforeseen circumstances, changes in trends and price increases from your suppliers. It’s not really a Plan B but it is some thought put into a contingency plan so you’re not caught with your pants down.
5.You Must Be the Jack of All Trades in the Beginning
I’ve talked about Gerber’s EMyth enough for people to know that we all start of as a technician in the business. You won’t have the money to pay others to work for you so you must have an understanding of accounting, your business, marketing and sales. Basic knowledge will get you through to the next step but knowing when to bring in pros or employees is imperative.
6.A SWOT Analysis
This is a very important step in any business plan and a personal favourite of mine to perform for new entrepreneurs. S- Your Strengths, W- Your Weaknesses, O- Opportunities in the market place and T- Threats that will bring your business crashing down. It’s important to know how to mitigate the ones which you marked with an X.
7.Know Your Customers & Your Competitors
Unless you know who your customers are you shouldn’t be in business – it’s called demographics. A guy I shared an office with years ago showed me his business plan. He was selling computerized services to artists. He stated in his business plan that there are 6 billion people in the world and 4 billion had computers so they were his customers, lol. So he was truly an idiot. Almost as important is knowing who your competition is and analyzing what they are doing to acquire customers and how this could be improved. Sun Tzu said â€œKnow your friends and keep your enemies closerâ€
8.Are Your Friends & Family on Board?
If your beer drinking buddies and your family aren’t with you on this it will be an uphill battle. Friends love to distract you from your new business some of it may even be jealousy â€“ they don’t want the status quo changed. If you have to go home to a nagging partner that will be detrimental to your business too. Ahghg keeping everyone happy.
9.How Much Time Are You going to Give It?
Let’s be realistic, if you have a finite amount of money you have to know how long you can survive before you make money from your business. Unless you have a wonderful working wife who will pay the bills be prepared to decide how long your resources can support the business or have an alternative resource for funding.
10.Keeping Your Options Open
It’s so nice to be able go back to your old job if the business fails after months so don’t leave in a bad state of mine or beat that terrible boss over the head with his laptop. Sometimes it is an option to go back to your old job because let’s face it some people just can’t make it as an entrepreneur.
Just remember starting a business is a milestone in your life and use any tools at your disposal to determine if all your ducks are in a row before leaving that comfy day job.